Posted / November 30, 2021
Sortera Alloys Announces Funding Led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Driving Efforts to Reuse Waste from End-of-Life Products
FORT WAYNE, IN – November 30, 2021 – Sortera Alloys, a company whose mission is to enable nearly 100% reuse of waste recovered from end-of-life products, has announced $10M in funding led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures. This builds on earlier funding from Chrysalix and the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will be used to scale operations and grow the team, with initial efforts targeted at high-quality industrial metal recycling from automobiles.
Sortera Alloys brings advanced artificial intelligence (A.I.)-powered image, data analytics and sensors to the industrial reuse industry. The company’s first products include sorted aluminum alloy feedstock, which is a $10B+ market. Sortera operates from a 10-acre facility in Fort Wayne, IN and its first mass production plant is under development and will be operational in 2022. The company has been shipping trial truckloads of aluminum feedstock – cast, sheet and extrusions – for the past few months from its pilot scale plant.
Sortera is protected by over 25 issued and pending patents and offers a low-cost, scalable and high-throughput solution. Sortera’s technology drives new opportunities for multiple industries by generating new high purity recycling products through advanced industrial scale sortation methods. Creating novel high purity recycled (and up-cycled) metal feedstocks from existing scrap streams enables ready for use supply of metals and alloys for high quality domestic manufacturing.
Sortera’s A.I. powered sorters have the capability to both upgrade feedstock streams and also remove unwanted contaminants. The upgraded streams can then be used to make new products in markets ranging from automotive cast and flat-roll products, building and construction, aerospace and consumer packaging.
“The global waste industry is over $2T, with nearly 90% of that heading to the landfill or incinerators,” said Nalin Kumar, Ph.D., founder and president of Sortera Alloys. “The volume of global waste is expected to grow by nearly 70% in the next few decades.”
“Companies are looking to create products for their customers with lower-carbon materials. At Sortera, we are enabling the domestic production of novel feedstock materials from existing automotive streams, at the same time boosting the strength of the circular economy and creating new jobs,” added Kumar.
“Sortera is using A.I. and engineering expertise to uniquely deliver high throughput with high purity in its sorting processes, while also keeping costs down. Scrap metal is an excellent place for market entry – aluminum is a $10B market alone and the production of virgin material has huge emission factors,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “The auto industry, in particular, should be very excited about Sortera’s ability to deliver high purity recycled materials without the cost and negative impact of producing virgin metal feed stocks.”